The OT of my OTTB.

I know people.  Or, rather, I know people who know people.

L. Williams and I were talking ponies.  We often talk ponies.  But we were talking about our racing ponies and the subject of photo finishes came up.  I've often lamented the fact that in the eight years or so that the Kid has been in my life, I haven't been able to master Google to the point of finding the finish from his one win.

L. Williams is Red from Shawshank Redemption.  She can get things.  She contacted Allison, who is a magical person.  Allison was able to point me towards the exact right person to get the crack photo that I was looking for.  Dude.  I've never spoken to this chick and she might be my new best friend.  Expect a Christmas card!

I sent the photographer an email and tried my damnedest not to ooze desperation and twelve-year-old-pony-love.  I kinda sorta figured that he didn't give a shit about my relationship with my horse.  I just said, "Hey, do you have the photo of this winner running this race on this date at this track?  BECAUSE HE'S MY HORSE!!!!"  Yeah.  Something like that.  Except nicer and more professional because occasionally I hide my crazy.

The photog (or photog minion?) was super prompt in his response and stated that he probably did have the photo I was looking for (cue tears of joy.  for reals.), but wouldn't be able to give me a definitive yes or no until the following week.  I waited somewhat patiently and didn't blast him eighteen emails.  As soon as I got that affirmative from him, I called him to throw money at him.  $24.  Worth it.

Look at those legs!


I feel like this is a huge puzzle piece from Archie's history.  The first person to work him.  What he looked like.  What he rode in.  His stance and body language.  So this is what I've surmised:
  • Archie ran in a Dexter bit.  Never heard of it?  Yeah.  I only knew of it as the cousin to the Chifney, which is an anti-rear bit.  The Dexter isn't for the same thing, but it is used as an additional means of stopping/controlling a "strong horse".  
  • Archie also ran in a blinker hood.  This limited the visibility primarily of those horses behind him, in an effort, as I understand it, to keep him focused on running forward.
  • Archie also ran with a shadow roll.  This inhibited the visibility directly in front/below him.  It serves two possible purposes:  to keep him from spooking at shadows by inhibiting him from seeing them, or to get him to lower his head (otherwise he couldn't see anything).
  • Archie still had donkey ears as a baby horse.  (He was four.)
  • And he looks tense as fuck.
  • But he still wore blue!
Dexter.
Chifney.
Maybe he did this stuff?
(Not my pony.)
I'm sort of surprised that he went from racing to 4-H, especially considering that his previous owner/trainer thought he needed all that extraneous crap on his face.  I mean, I get that he's an asshole at heart.  I adore that about him.  Maybe people don't appreciate assholes as much as I do.  Um.  Anyways, I'm open to being educated by those who know more about general practices with racehorses/racing paraphernalia.

So, again, many thanks to L and Allison for hooking me up with something I've been dying to find for nearly a decade.

THANK YOU!

On a serious note:  thanks for the condolences about my cousin.  It's hard to articulate, but as much as I want a cure for cancer and wish that he had lived long enough to see one, I'm also grateful that he isn't suffering anymore.

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20 comments

  1. Its so true, even at work they know me as the person who can get stuff, knows stuff or can find out for you :P

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    1. ETA I am also black like Morgan Freeman :P

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    2. Did you read that in Morgan's voice after you typed it?

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  2. So cool!!! I squealed a little when I saw the photo on instagram. So happy you found it!

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    1. ME TOO!!!!! Can I really take credit for finding it when L and Allison did all the hard work and I just rattled off love stories to strangers?

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  3. This is so cool! I would love to see pictures of Henry racing!

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    1. You can pay to watch his races on Equibase! I think it's $8?

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    2. LOL. I wonder if they still have Archie's races from 2001.

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  4. This is amazing!! Holy sh** on that bit altho if Savvy had ever raced I am sure she would have had the same get-up.

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    1. Did I ooze that I thought this was a crappy bit? I don't care how common it is - it's a freaking metal loop around a jaw. From a horse to a door knocker.

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  5. I wish Bobby had won a race so I could get his win picture. But he's a big fat loser.

    I've never heard of that bit being called a Dexter bit before. We've always called them ring bit, and they're pretty standard on the track. Horse is a little too strong for a dee? Stick 'em in a ring bit. And I love that he was dressed in blue!!

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    1. I'm on the same page as Carly here, ring bit. Super standard on those too strong for snaffles. That said, horses that need all the get up on the track are usually just fine in a plain snaffle the moment they get the OT added to TB. Love that you found his win picture!

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    2. I wish they had run Archie fewer times so his legs wouldn't be as shitty now. I mean, seventeen races just so he could make a measly $6k winning once and placing twice? Call it quits!

      I ride Archie in a d-ring double-joined happy mouth. :) I've never needed anything harder and I've been his rider for eight years now.

      And yeah, love the photo, love the blue, SO FREAKING LUCKY.

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  6. SWEET photos! And I love your narrative about what you did vs. wanted to do as far as communication - I do the SAME shit.

    That bit. Oh god. That bit...I have no words.

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    1. I wish I could direct Archie with my mind. I would. I totally would.

      And yeah.. I'm a little.. uh.. eager when it comes to the Archer. I used to tell every.single.person that my horse drank beer until my friends made so much fun of me that they started telling the story for me.

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  7. Glad I was able to help locate the right person for you to contact and that they had his photo!!! If it makes you feel any better I think they try everything in a Dexter bit at one point in their training career!

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    1. That does make me feel better! And... worse. :( I mean, it's not a slow-choke-double-twisted-and-barbed-tom-thumb, or whatever the fuck people are putting in their horses' mouths, but it's significant enough in its structure.

      And, yes, you are my SAVIOR! This is like.. first born. I'll send you my first born. She's a squirrel mutt. You can't send her back, she's a gift.

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    2. I have always wanted a pet squirrel...

      The chifney isn't a riding / racing bit - strictly for in hand use and is a standard in any racing barn and a lot of horses wear them in the sales ring. The Dexter really isn't much more than a plain snaffle added. The ring with the Dexter is partly an old school way of preventing the tongue from going over the bit. Now people are lazy and just tie them.

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  8. Yay! Congrats on being able to piece together part of his history. I am starting to try and help someone with an OTTB find out his past too. :)

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  9. This is super neat! It makes me want to get an OTTB just so I can get a cool photo I can show all my friends :P Because lord knows how interested they'd be in that...

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